Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Learning how to pronounce words in English can be challenging. But I have some tips for you to make it much easier. Let's go over when to pronounce the G consonant as a hard G /g/ or a soft G /dʒ/.
First, a bit about the difference between hard sounds and soft sounds that some consonants can make. Hard sounds are made in one single breath. Soft sounds are made with one continuing breath.
The G consonant has two sounds: a hard G /g/ as in great and good and a soft G /dʒ/ as in giant or gym.
With the hard G /g/, the tongue moves to the top while the vocal cords vibrate.
The soft G /dʒ/ is sometimes pronounced before the vowels E, I, or Y. This unfortunately does not happen 100% of the time.
To pronounce the soft G /dʒ/, first bear your teeth, then move your lips forward while pushing your breath with your tongue through your teeth. You should feel your tongue vibrate.
Practice both the hard G /g/ and soft G /dʒ/ sounds with me in the American English Pronuncation video I recorded for TakeLessons.
Let's practice the world go. Now let’s practice golf.
Then practice two words that are spelled similarly but have different pronunciations: angel and angle.
You'll notice that angel is pronounced with a soft G /dʒ/ and angle with a hard G /g/.
The more you practice improving your pronunciation, the more you will sound like an American English speaker.
Of course, if you ever need accent reduction lessons, want to brush up on your English grammar, or need to learn English from the beginning, I'm available in person at my Eastlake, Chula Vista studio or online via video chat. Contact me directly, check out my Facebook page, or visit my TakeLessons page for more info.